Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pharrell Williams – a true renaissance man

Pharrell is 41! Yes, I typed that right and you read it correctly, he is in his early 40 and was born in 1975, on April 5th)!!! Can you believe this guy? How dare he look so good and make me think he is almost a decade younger? It’s shameful really! He obviously made a pact with the Devil to never get old! 

That and  the fact he is amazing at everything he does: he sings, writes songs, he is a drummer, rapper, fashion designer, record producer and philanthropist. There's really no other logical explanation for all this Pharrell magic!


He has his hands in everything. Pharrell and childhood friend, Chad Hugo, represent The Neptunes record production team. He is also the vocalist and drummer of the hip hop and R&B band N.E.R.D (Nobody Ever Really Dies) with whom he released four albums. Chad Hugo and Shay Haley are the other members of N.E.R.D. In 2003 they were responsible for 20 percent of songs played in the U.K and 43 percent of those played in the U.S. Crazy right?  

Before The Neptunes, he was in a band called Surrounded by Idiots with Chad and fellow Virginia Beach native, now renowned producer Timbaland.
 
 
In 2005 he co funded The Billionaire Boys Club (amazing name!), Billionaire Girls Club clothing labels and the Ice Cream Footwear and T-shirt brand. His designs are sold in his own boutique in New York City. He designed for other companies like Topshop, Gap, Timberland, etc.

He is also a partner in Bionic Yarn, a textile firm from New York that develops environmentally friendly fabrics using recycled plastic bottles.

He owns a media venture that includes elements of entertainment, music, fashion and art called i am OTHER and in 2011 he launched his own You Tube channel ) as part of YouTube's $100 million original channel initiative. On his i am OTHER dedicated website he says: "I serve and represent the OTHERS because I am one myself". The "others" are anyone who has ever felt different, noncompliant, hard to define and un-categorized.
He has his own record label named Star Trak. Can you tell he is a fan of Star Trek? If the name of his label doesn’t convince you, maybe the fact the he often uses the Vulcan salute will!

In 2008 he co-designed some jewelry and glasses for Louis Vuitton and worked on furniture with Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin and Domeau & Pérès. 



But it all started with The Neptunes and the numerous hit songs that they created for various artists. He met Hugo in seventh grade on a summer band camp. I guess it was bromance at first sight: back then Pharrell played the keyboards and drums, while Hugo played saxophone and they were both members in marching bands. It was truly a pair made in geek heaven!

They were snatched by producer/songwriter Teddy Riley after they entered a high school talent show that was held near Riley’s recording studio and after graduating from high school they were signed by Riley.
You can blame The Neptunes for songs like Britney Spears' "I'm a Slave 4 U" (after becoming a world-wide number one hit this song catapulted the group into the limelight), Nelly's "Hot in Here", Babyface’s "There She Goes, "Madonna`s "Hey You", Beyonce's version of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" and Kelis first album - Kaleidoscope. He also worked on Justin Timberlake's hit album Justified and this are just a few of the many artists he collaborated with. 


And who can forget the feature that Pharrell made on Daft Punk's fourth album on songs like "Get Lucky" and "Lose Yourself to Dance". Let’s not forget about Pharrell’s collaboration with T.I. and Robin Thicke for the hit "Blurred Lines". “Both songs are for people who need a break. There's a lot of fucked-up travesty in the world. Sometimes you just need a Hallmark card. Sometimes you just need to shake your ass.” he confesses about writing these songs! This year has definitely been his year and the number one position that "Blurred Lines" held for weeks was only endangered by his other song "Get Lucky".


He is obviously one of the greatest artists and writers of this generation. He can deliver a song for every mood possible: from catchy songs, meaningful ones to dance all night kind of tunes. In his vision: “Music has been the skeleton key that's opened every door of every opportunity that I've had”. And along the way he ensured 17 top 10 hits, a No. 1 album and seven Grammy Awards.

He is also a philanthropist who built a $35 million after school center in his hometown, Virginia Beach. He also has a charity foundation called From One Hand To Another that helps youngsters between the ages of 7 and 20 from at risk communities.

 
As for his personal life, I’m sorry to report, girls, but this cutie pie is taken. He married his long-time girlfriend, model and designer Helen Lasichanh in 2013. They have a son together, Rocket Man Williams (the "Rocket's Theme" songs for Despicable Me were written in honor of his son). This guy has a thing for amazing names, doesn’t he? He is very private about his wife and child, even though he sometimes gushes about his son calling him his "greatest co-production".


Pharrell was voted the "Best Dressed Man in the World" in 2005 by Esquire. His sense of style is exquisite! I can honestly say that I have never seen a man who can pull off so well basically everything.
His unique outfits make him one of the most stylish men on the planet. He is so comfortable in his own skin and everything he wears and does exude that confidence: he got married in a tartan tux (while his wife to be wore a matching navy wedding dress), for God sakes! 


And jewelry never looked so good on a boy! He loves accessories a lot - he always accessorizes his outfits with long necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings or all of the above. He is particularly in love with a set of necklaces, you can see he is wearing them every chance he gets: the Chanel rosario type necklaces with green and white beads on a gold chain, they are indeed very pretty and work with almost everything.

He owns some fierce hats as you might have noticed: from bowler hats, to caps or even ranger hats, he wears them all! I mean who can’t forget the odd hat that he had on at the 56th Grammy Awards? After that countless GIFs, Twitter accounts and memes were made just because of that hat. Pharrell is possibly the only one that could pull of that hat, and by all accounts he did! 

At 41 he still looks like teenage ready to skate his way true Time Square. I guess that being a skateboarder himself and having a professional skateboarder as a brother (Cato Williams), as well as the fact that he built a half-pipe inside his home, is a true statement to why he loves this style.

His fashion choices are complex and fresh, he is not afraid to mix different styles and take dangerous risks that always seem to pay off. He is at his best when he wears his slick costumes paired with amazing accessories - a true style icon with an effortless and refined look. Pharrell knows how to shine in anything: from three piece costumes to a pair of shorts with socks.

Jewelry, crazy colors and prints, leather jackets, fur, funky hats and cool shoes and sunglasses, everything is allowed. You know that he is genuinely into fashion and that this side of his personality didn’t just come out as he got famous and got access to basically everything he wanted because he was sporting unique outfits, experimenting with different styles and pushing fashion boundaries since he first came into the game. 
He has fine tastes not only in clothes but also in cars: he drives a Ferrari Enzo and a Mercedes SLR McLaren. Pretty cool, right?

 
As hard as I tried, the only juicy news I could find about Pharrell was that he and Will.i.am from The Black Eyed Peas were involved in a legal dispute over the phrase "I am other".

While Pharrell tried to trademark the name of his company I Am Other,  Will.i.am responded by suing him because he thought that people would confuse Pharrell`s company with his own I.Am.Symbolic.

Some nasty things were said, more from Will.i.am`s side who’s claiming that Pharrell has a history of not respecting intellectual property (bullshit if you ask me). As it happens, at the time of the trial, he was involved in another intellectual property lawsuits, namely the one he and Robin Thicke's had to face against the estate of Marvin Gaye be ( 'Blurred Lines' was called out for being too similar to Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up”). Will.i.am threw another low punch by referring to the name of Pharrell`s record label, Star Trak Entertainment for his obvious origins.

It seems though that they agreed to settle the battle. Pharrell later said this about the conflict: "I am someone who likes to talk things out and, in fact, I attempted to do just that on many occasions", and called the lawsuit ridiculous.


Great news for The Voice fans out there: it seems like Pharrell is set to take over a judge’s chair the next season! He will be joining Adam Levine and Blake Shelton and replacing Usher on the show (also Gwen Stefani will replace Shakira). I can’t wait to see him on The Voice. He is such a nice person and so talented - he is going to be a great addition to the show. 

Adam Levine sure seems excited to work alongside Pharrell, already saying that he can’t wait for Pharrell to join him ("He's so lovely - an unbelievable talent actually"), and has also warned him to "get ready for the rollercoaster". 

 
In 2014 Pharrell was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People. He was one of only three musicians who got included in the list, Beyoncé and Miley Cyrus being the other two.

Who can ever forget his recent and extremely emotional interview with Oprah, when he was brought to tears after seeing video montages that fans of his Happy single made. He started to cry happy tears the moment he saw the home made clips, he was very touched seeing how many people were affected by his song. How can you not love that? He had to say this about his “breakdown”: "Why am I crying on Oprah … It's overwhelming because I love what I do and I just appreciate the fact that people have believed in me for so long that I could make it to this point - to feel that."

It’s hard to believe that this song wasn’t an instant success. When the song was first released on the soundtrack for Despicable Me 2 in June 2013 people didn’t react to it in the same way they reacted when the track was released out as a single in November.

Pharrell himself admitted he has been overwhelmed by its success:”Zero airplay, nothing. And the next thing you know, we put out the video on November 21st. All of a sudden, boom! I mean, when I say 'boom', [I mean]…'boom'. And we were like, what's happening? Ok, first of all people are putting up their own videos. It was like, no longer my song."


And did you know that Happy was originally recorded by CeeLo? Unfortunately for CeeLo, his version was never released because it was voted out by his team. In Pharrell’s opinion CeeLoo`s version was even better than his: “He sounded amazing on it. I mean, he burns my version! But the... how do I say this diplomatically?... The powers that be, at the time, did not see it fit for him. Some folks on his team just felt that the priority should be on [Cee Lo's] album at the time ['Magic Moment' in 2012], so they elected not to do that song."

In other news Pharrell recently asked fans from all around the world to help him finish his new book called Inspiration. There is no word yet regarding the release date, but the book will be made available after fans have helped him fill in the gaps. The fans who help him will receive a credit in the final book once it is published. Some of the earnings from the sale of the book will go towards From One Hand to AnOTHER, Pharrell’s nonprofit charity founded to help at-risk youths in American communities. 

 Almost every artist that worked with him has only good words to say. Pharrell seems like a true charmer and a genuine nice person. You can even go as far as to say that he is the person that everyone wants to work with. He has made a name for himself in music, art and fashion and I’m sure he will continue to entertain with his many projects!

   Photos and gifs, : 1, 2, collages made by Sara

Has anybody make it till the end of this article? How do you feel about Pharrell?



8 comentarii :

Iulia said...

Damn, I love this man. Never getting old.

fashion-meets-art said...

oh yes it's real magic! love him :)
kisses
Maren Anita

FASHION-MEETS-ART by Maren Anita

street art _life style_ fashion and co. said...

cool post :)

sashkonela said...

A true perfect star!

J. said...

I love Pharrell! great post!

Sorana Nistor said...

Omul asta cred ca e robot...nu imbatraneste deloc!:))
pupici

Sharon Eck said...

I absolutely love love watching you on the voice. You are such a sweet young man. You are so genuine and i am so amazed how will go up on the stage and offer,advice to the,contestants that don't get selected. you are a true gift from God, one in a million, and I would be honored if someday i could give you a hug. You are absolutely an incredible person. I am a mother of 6 and have 6 grandchildren. I also sing at church. I love it!

Sharon Eck said...

I absolutely love love watching you on the voice. You are such a sweet young man. You are so genuine and i am so amazed how will go up on the stage and offer,advice to the,contestants that don't get selected. you are a true gift from God, one in a million, and I would be honored if someday i could give you a hug. You are absolutely an incredible person. I am a mother of 6 and have 6 grandchildren. I also sing at church. I love it!

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